If You Were Involved in a Philadelphia Auto Accident Here's what you need to know.
No matter how well you drive, there is always a lingering possibility of getting into an auto accident. With thousands happening every year, it is not something to be ashamed about and you can be better prepared if you understand how to deal with one properly.
A severe car accident can ruin you financially and severely affect your insurance rates if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure that you have everything in order from the very beginning.
To ensure that you are taking the right steps following a crash, we want to help give you all the information you could ever need if you are caught up in an accident. From the first steps after an accident to how to work with a your accident attorney to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
Being equipped and knowledgeable now is what could help you out most if you ever find yourself in an accident in the future or are still looking for help with a previous one.
We will start out our guide with a basic rundown of what you need to do after an accident to ensure that everyone is safe and reasonable action can be taken. We will then walk you through some of the ways you can prove various claims to help out your case in court in Philadelphia. Following that discussion, we will go over the general legal process associated with car accidents so that you can be aware and knowledgeable about what you can come to expect in nearly any situation.
First Steps Following an Accident
When an accident happens, everything may seem a little surreal and out of place. To make sure that you are making smart decisions, we have broken down a reasonable order of steps to follow when you get into an accident. While every accident is a little different, we feel that these essential steps will help get things resolve and everyone safe in the most effective way possible.
1. Make sure everyone is ok
The absolute first thing you need to do when you get into an accident is to make sure that everyone is ok. It is more likely than not that your adrenaline levels will be higher than normal as a result of the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, you will probably already have an idea of how everyone else is doing. Make sure that you yourself are ok and in good shape before trying to go and help anyone else for their and your own safety.
If you just got in a small accident where you just tapped into another car, chances are that everyone is mostly alright and that nobody is seriously injured. It is still a good idea to ask and check everyone just in case there was any head damage that needs to be treated.
If you were in a more serious accident, then you will need to act a little more diligently. If parts of the car are heavily damaged and you got seriously jolted by the crash, chances are so did everyone else. Check yourself for any blood and injuries to make sure that you are able to safely get out of the vehicle. Check the other passengers and occupants of the vehicle to so that you know how urgently you will need medical attention.
One thing many people forget in the heat of the moment is about the other car. If you can safely do so, go and check on the other car after you are done with your own. Depending on who experienced more of the force from the crash, they could be much better off or in a much more sever condition than you are. Regardless of their condition, they will still appreciate the gesture. Once you make sure everyone is ok, its time to call for help.
2. Call 911
No matter the severity of the crash, you will always need to call for help after an accident. Considering how many factors can go into a crash and effect how you react, calling 911 can be used for several different needs. Since 911 is the emergency service hotline for any number of issues, you need to understand why you are calling and what you need from them. If you call them just because you scratched the paint on someone in a traffic jam, then you are taking them away from more serious issues that could require their help.
If you and another car get in an accident and people seem to be injured, you should call 911 as soon as you can for medical attention. A car crash can cause any number of injuries to the body and many of them are not obvious to the untrained eye. When you call 911, tell them that you have been in a car accident at a certain location and require medical attention. This will have them dispatch and ambulance and medica unit to the scene to check on the accident victims.
In many cases, you may also want to call the police to the scene of the accident too. Depending on how serious the accident is and where it happened, the dispatch operator may automatically send the police to the accident scene. The primary reason for this is because they may need to redirect traffic away from the crash so medical help can arrive. If the vehicles only have minor damage and nobody is injured, you can just call 911 to report the accident and tell them no assistance is yet needed. This will keep a record of the accident for you and your insurance.
One situation where calling 911 is essential is if a driver is under the influence. IF someone involved is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the police and medical team will need to be called for various reasons. If someone is intoxicated and causes a crash, the police will need to be involved to administer a field sobriety test and possibly detain the person. The medical team may also need to take them to the hospital if their condition is serious.
3. Check the accident scene and vehicles
Once you have called for help and made sure everyone was alright, you can now check the scene of the accident and the vehicles. It is generally pretty easy to understand how bad the damage will be from the impact itself, but getting a closer look is always advised. When investigating the crash scene, you want to look at both cars and try and determine where the damage is most severe. If the cars are still running and not missing serious components, it would be advised to move the cars away from the road and somewhere safer.
Another thing you will want to do when investigating the crash is to take as many pictures as possible. Many people get so caught up in the moment of a crash that they forget to take pictures of the crash and what the cars look like. When you take pictures of the accident, you have hard evidence of what happened and can easily use the photo evidence when you reach out to your insurance and car accident lawyer for help. Having photos of what both cars look like right after the crash will help determine who was at fault and can help get a more realistic estimate of how much you should be given to repair your car.
4. Exchange contact information
Once the scene has been assessed and you can understand what shape the cars are in, you will want to exchange information with the other driver. This process can require some time as you want to get as much information about the other driver as possible for a better picture of how you will carry on with the crash and repairs. The first things you will want is their name, address, and phone number. This is the most basic information you will need that will allow you to at least contact the other person if other things are not working.
Once you have the basics, you will want to ask for insurance information, their drivers license number, plate number, and vehicle information. With this information, your insurance and attorney will be able to look up this person and their policies so that you can both understand how to carry on with the crash. If they don’t have insurance or refuse to give their information, take down their license plate and general information so that they can be found later on. It is also advised that you give them your information so they can also figure out what they need to do with their providers.
5. Call your insurance company
Depending on the accident you have had, your insurance coverage may differ greatly and offer you different help. When calling your insurance company, give them as much information as possible so that they can help your case and give you as much money as possible to cover the damages. If you are working with the police to help get an accident report, that will greatly help speed up the process as that detailed report works in your favor for insurance claims.
If you want to be really proactive, understand what your insurance policy covers before getting anything done. Things like replacements cars, tow truck fees, and medical expenses are all things that your insurance may or may not cover. This is extremely important in the case of limited tort policies. Calling a tow truck only to find that it wasn’t covered in your insurance could mean serious fees that you are now paying for out of pocket because you didn’t understand your policy. While waiting for police to arrive and after making sure everyone is ok, call you insurance and see what is covered s you know how to act going forward.
6. Call a Car Accident Lawyer
When you are in an accident in Philadelphia, you may or may not be receiving the necessary funds you need to cover the cost of the accident. Things like getting your car fixed, medical bills, and lost wages from injury are all things that insurance are very unlikely to help you out with. This is where a car accident lawyer comes in. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer will do everything in their power to defend your case in court to get you the damages you need to ensure that the crash does no cause serious derailment to your life.
Once you have worked with your insurance provider to understand what they can do for you, an experience auto accident attorney can step in and help cover the rest of the damages. With insurance coverage generally being very limited, it can be very hard to make a decent case with them to get your money’s worth.
A car accident attorney can be of great help when you have taken the following steps to get them the right information to make a valid case for your personal injury claim in hopes of getting you more money back.
7. Take care of post-crash needs
Now that the crash has been mostly dealt with and everyone is safe, there are some additional steps to take to get everything in order. Depending on the shape of your vehicle, you may want to get it towed or taken away by a professional. Call and ask your insurance to see if they cover that service before making the call. If your car is running, you should try and get it to a mechanic so that they can complete a proper inspection and make sure that the vehicle is in running order.
Making sure that both you and your vehicle are free of any issues following a crash will ensure that you are feeling safe and your car is road worthy. It is also a good idea to reach out to the other person involved in the crash if you have any further insurance or accident related questions that you are looking to have answered. How Much is my Claim Worth?
When you get in an accident, a claim will be generated to estimate how much you will likely be paid in recovery fees from the accident. This claim can vary immensely as every accident is slightly different and the damages you are paid can lead to different amount of payment depending on severity of the accident.
When calculating how much your claim is worth, the law will look at various types of inconveniences you can be burdened with and will then give you the amount they fin is reasonable to cover the issues. For example, you can file a claim for things like medical treatments and pain and suffering that will have a court look at what kind of issues you have faced as a result of the accident to determine how much they are going to pay you in claims for the issues.
Having a Philadelphia lawyer to represent your claims in court is your best option when looking to get as much money as possible for the damages you received. When you take the steps we looked at above to ensure you have all the relevant crash information, you have a much better chance of getting more money from your claims if you have the evidence and attorney to back up and defend your claim.
To understand what damages, you are going to be looking at in court, we will break down the major economic and non-economic damages that are used to determine how much you can expect to be paid.
Before we look at the damages you can expect to see in a claims court, lets look at the damages that your car can have to see how your insurance may treat the vehicle repair process.
A minor accident
is generally categorized as something that is only a small cosmetic issue like a scratch or small dent as a result of an accident. If you make a claim of something like this to your insurance, they will most likely cover it as it is an inexpensive issue and usually can be fixed relatively easily. Be aware that there is a good chance that the price of repair will be added to your deductible unless it was reported as an accident and is covered by the other party.
Moderate damage can be thought of as damage that may or may not have caused your cars airbags to deploy or caused a decent amount of physical damage. These cars can generally run, but it is very obvious that they have been in an accident. If someone caused this type of damage to your car, you would definitely want to have it covered with insurance and may potentially look for claims if you were injured. The car can probably still run, but it will likely need some expensive repairs to look good again.
Severe accidents are generally what most people think of when they hear about a car accident. These crashed can be very ugly and are usually the result of a high-speed impact. Crashed like this usually render both cars broken as major components are damaged and the cars are not fit for road use.
Damages like these can be covered by insurance and are very expensive as one or both of the cars usually needs to be replaced due to the severe damage. Cases like these are where the claims become really important as injuries and fees are likely to be present.
Economic or special damages
Now that we understand what the damages to the cars can look like, lets look at the damages you can receive through claims. The first category of damages is known as economic or special damages. What these damages refer to is loss of value that a person receives as a result of an accident. This is a family broad term used to describe any damages that result in the lost wages or potential earnings from a person due to an accident.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident and are unable to work for a certain amount of time, this would be classified as an economic damage. Things like medical bills and fees are also considered economic damages because they are quantifiable as actual amount of money that you would normally have to spend to receive treatments. Many car accident cases that result in injury of some sort will see economic damages arise if a party is out of work for a given amount of time.
Non-economic or general damages
Where economic damages are based on an actual dollar amount that was lost due to an accident, a non-economic or general damage claim will be the result of damages that have no real dollar amount. Since these damages are hard to actually give a dollar amount to, they can be much harder to process and quantify a claims amount than economic damages.
In the case of car accidents, non-economic damages are unique in that they come up very frequently. As people suffer injuries and pain form an accident, a non-economic damage amount must be created to give damage payment to the affected party. Many states including Pennsylvania put limits on the non-economic damages you can receive from an accident so that people are not abusing the system and taking more money than they are actually owed. Having the best car accident lawyer you can find on your side will help you to defend you case and get you as much in damages as you can reasonably defend.
With a basic understanding for what damages you will be looking to file for in court, you need to understand the process of proving damages. When you get into an accident, there is a god chance that you will face some personal injury that needs to be dealt with. Instead of leaving you alone to pay for what was out of your control, you can be issued damages that will help pay for any necessary treatment or recovery you need.
Proving damages can have many aspects, so having as much information as possible will only help you to make a better case. For example, taking pictures at the accident scene and having a police or medical report filed will serve as hard evidence that you have faced injury and would have required some treatment. It is not really the goal of claims courts to give you money, so you will need good evidence to prove that you are in need of the damage payment you are seeking.
When attempting to prove damages, it is very important that you are telling the truth and your reasoning is logical. Before going to get your damages heard, consult an attorney who can help you better gather evidence and hard fasts to prove your case. If all you have is word of mouth and no actual evidence, it will be nearly impossible to make a justified case. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer will help you create a case that represents the truth in order to get you the money you are rightfully owed. Proving Fault
One of the most important elements in any auto accident case is understanding who was at fault. Fault is essentially the way that police and insurance companies determine who caused the accident. The first way that fault is determined is in cases where there is overwhelming evidence to support a case such as a left turn crash or rear-end accident. Cases like these are generally always going to put fault on one driver unless there is substantial evidence proving otherwise.
As we mentioned above, getting a police report filed at the accident is essential to ensuring that the proper paperwork is filed so that it is clear to understand who was at fault for the accident. Police will interview both parties at a crash to understand what happened and will use that as a base of their understanding to who is at fault. Additionally, they may also inspect the vehicles for any signs of how the accident occurred so they can see what really happened.
Lastly, reports will also use witnesses or cameras to determine who was at fault. If there are witnesses at the scene of the accident, asking for their details and information will help the police make a non-biased judgement on who was at fault. For a very clear-cut fault, a camera could be in place that would offer a very clear view as to who was at fault during the accident.
Proving Negligence - Terms
Negligence is a word that is thrown around quite freely, but what exactly does it entail? When trying to prove negligence, the law has determined that there are four elements that are needed to make a negligence claim. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Let’s look at what each entails.
Duty in the case of negligence is unique in that it suggests that everyone owes a duty to each other when on the road. For cases like a doctor, they are to provide a duty of care to their patients by acting in their best interests. When operating a vehicle, you essentially owe a duty to everyone else on the road that you will drive responsibly and act in the best interest of others.
When determining if the person who caused the crash acted in a negligent fashion, the court would see if they breached their duty by acting irrationally. The way courts judge this is by determining what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. Using the standard of a reasonable person means that if an average person was placed in the same situation as the defendant, they would have done the same thing or else they would have acted with negligence.
Causation is an interesting requirement as it must be shown that the defendant had actually directly caused harm to the plaintiff. Essentially, there has to be a direct correlation between the person who cased the crash doing something that caused harm to the injured party. If someone was doing something illegal that caused the person to crash into the injured party, they would most likely be negligent. However, is something like their tire burst and caused them to swerve into another car, they would probably not be negligent.
What Damages are Due to Me ?
Just like the damages we looked at earlier, a case of negligence needs to have damages that can be owed for someone to be negligent. This means that if you face injury as a result of negligence and can be compensated for it through monetary or other means, it will stand as negligence. Negligent Behavior examples
Now that we know what negligence is, lets better understand what negligent behavior would look like. Knowing the causes that result in a negligent claim, we can see how certain irresponsible driving habits can lead to a clearly negligent crash. One of the easiest cases to justify as negligent is speeding. When you speed in a car, you are not providing a reasonable level of care to other drivers on the road.
Similarly, doing things like disobeying driving laws and driving under the influence are very clear examples of negligence. Negligence is a fairly grey area of the law but driving negligence can be much easier to determine with the right evidence and proof.
Pennsylvania Rules of Modified Contributory Negligence In Pennsylvania, are systems in place to determine a level of negligence appointed to each case based on how both parties acted. In a state using contributory negligence, there is a system that requires the plaintiff to have less than 50% negligence in a case to still get their compensation.
What this means is that cases where negligence exists, the person who was injured must have had less than 50% responsibility in causing the action.
For most auto accidents, this is the case as one person generally holds the majority of the blame. If you are more than 50% responsible, then there is a good chance that you will not receive any financial aid for the accident.
The Lawsuit Process - Steps
With an understanding for what causes accident judgment to be made and understood, we now take a look inside he court room to see what exactly goes on during lawsuit. To keep things relatively simple and straightforward, we will look at the five major steps to a lawsuit that will show you how a case is made and how the lawsuit s eventually resolved.
To understand what each side of the lawsuit has to say. When you get in a car accident, you are going to be considered the plaintiff and the person who crashed into you and caused a level are going to be the defendant.
To start the pleading, the plaintiff much launch a formal complaint to get the lawsuit started. This complaint will describe why there is a lawsuit in the first place and states why the defendant is the cause for harm. This statement is then delivered to the defendant where they are then required to return with an answer as to how they are willing to proceed. The answer given by the
defendant essentially states their defense to the lawsuit and how they are going to react to the allegations. The defendant has a few options when they give an answer as to how they wish to reply to the complaint. If there is a grey area of negligence and responsibility, the defendant can file a counterclaim to the plaintiff if they want to argue against the lawsuit that was put in place.
Once both parties have agreed to begin the lawsuit, there is a period of discovery that comes into existence that generally takes the longest amount of time. This is where you are most likely going to need a personal injury lawyer like us to help you gather all of the evidence to prove your point and help you to win the case.
Just as the name suggests, discovery is the time at which all of the evidence is gathered and recorded so that a solid defense can be made. This portion of the lawsuit is where the hard facts and evidence is gathered by both parties. As we mentioned above, car crashes are very important to have documented if you want to make a strong case. It is often the person who has the most evidence and hard proof who will come away with the best results.
The discovery period can have interviews, professional opinions, and witness questioning so that a solid defense can be made for both sides. Once discovery is complete, the lawsuit moves on to asking for motions of the court to clarify or make exceptions for the case. These all must be complete before the trial where the evidence is then presented to the judge and jury.
Going to Trial
When you watch reality Tv and see heated arguments in front of a judge, that is a trial. In reality, a trial looks nothing like that in real life as you shall see. Depending on the type of trial you opt for, your trial could look very different from other variations. You will start your trial with a brief where both the plaintiff and defendant present their general case to the judge before going into a formal trial period.
Each party in a trial will present their opening statement where they assert their main argument and evidence to prove their side. The plaintiff will go first and then the defendant will have a rebuttal. This is where evidence and documents become so important because you can use this hard evidence to prove your case and try and have a favorable verdict.
Once the trial is complete, a verdict will be made based on who made the best and most logical case in the eyes of the law. Assuming a law was broken that caused the car accident, it is very unlikely that the person who committed the crime will win the case. The winning party can now seek fees for damages done to them by the defendant and they can get the amount stated by the judge during the trial.
Depending on the outcome of the case, either party can file for an appeal. What an appeal generally suggests is that one of the parties is dissatisfied with the outcome and wants a higher court to review the final verdict. In cases with car accidents and clear negligence, this is generally very rare and does not occur all that often.
The new appeal is sent to an appellate court where it is judged based on the hearing and does not rely on additional evidence. The only real reason a car accident case would eb sent to an appellate course is if there is a disagreement with what the law asked for and one of the parties feels they were misrepresented.
Litigation and alternatives
Litigation is the final step in a court process where legal action is taken and then the dispute is usually resolved. However, there are some alternatives that can arise where a case may go in another direction. The most common way that parties go about taking care of a case outside of court are settlements, mediation, and arbitration.
A settlement is an option when the defendant would rather pay out of pocket for an issue than go through the full lawsuit process. In cases like car accidents, this is very common as a full trial can be very expensive for both parties. Settlements are generally done outside of the court’s supervision, but you can sometimes have a court overlook the process.
Another option is mediation. This is similar to a normal settlement, except now an outside party is brought in to act as a third opinion on the matter. The mediator will work with both parties to develop each of their cases and will then offer advice on how to best resolve the issue. The mediator is an effective way to get another perspective on the case, but they can’t make the final decision.
Unlike the mediator, an arbitrator does have some power. An arbitration is essentially the same as a normal lawsuit just without the legal fees and issues. The arbitrator will observe the cases of both parties and then act like a judge to make a final decision on what should be done. They are not legally bound, but the decision of an arbitration cannot normally be brought to court.
If Negligence is not a factor in your case
In some cases, there is a chance where the issue of negligence is not always clear. AS we briefly mentioned earlier, there are some factors where negligence may not always be the case. Unless an accident was the result of all four factors of negligence being supported, it is unlikely that negligence will be the cause.
Considering how frequent accidents happen on the road, there have to be options in place for when negligence is not at play. Certain incidents like harsh weather conditions and things that are out of a driver’s control are generally not considered negligence. If you have a case where it is clear that negligence is not a major factor, it can be much harder to launch a case against the person who hit your car.
• Defective Products
As mentioned above, there can be seemingly unforeseeable issues that arise and cause someone’s driving to be affected. One such case for an incident like this is a defective product. Whether it is their tire, airbag or their engine, there is very little that someone can do so avoid an accident if their car begins to go out of control.
If you suspect that defective product was to blame for an accident, it is very important that you report the issue and make sure that the product has not been defective in the past and recalled. A defective product on a vehicle that takes the control and responsibility away from the driver is often rather difficult case to take on and your insurance may have to step in to help get you your money.
• Bars Serving Alcohol (Dram Shop Law)
When it comes to dangerous driving, almost no accident is more concerning than one caused by a drunk driver. When you are under the influence and cause a car accident, you put yourself and others at serious risk that very often leads to serious injury or death. Because of this, people who drink and drive are given very little leverage in accidents and are generally completely liable and can often face prison.
The Dram shop law came about when a person was heavily intoxicated at a bar and was still being served alcohol. His high consumption was not monitored and he drove home and killed a pedestrian. The Dram Shop law was subsequently put into place and limits bars from serving heavily intoxicated individuals so they cannot cause harm to themselves or others.
Insurance Companies Disputing Liability: No matter what insurance company you have or what your accident was, insurance companies will always try to give out as little money as possible. To do this they can use many claims that try and remove the possibility of you receiving money from them. Let’s look at some of the most popular insurance disputes.
Even if the party who caused the crash was acting negligent, this does not immediately remove the person who was crashed into from blame. As we mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania has a negligence system where you are only allowed to receive compensation if you are less than 50% negligent in the cause of an accident. At the time of the accident negligence may be pretty clear, but your insurance will try and find ways to dispute that.
Your insurance company will want to find any way they can to give you less money, so make sure you are acting fast with every part of the accident process. If you fail ot get your medical information in quickly or do something with your car, they will easily try and make a case for partial negligence to give you less money.
When you hire our attorneys for your settlement, they will help you gather and look through evidence to make your case. However, they can only use the evidence that exists to help make your case look better. When you get in an accident, it is essential that you record and document everything that happens for later use.
Any pictures, documents, or video will all help ensure that your insurance company cannot use insufficient evidence to work against you. However, they may try to ask for old car or medical records in the process. Companies will generally not irrationally and ask for documents you can’t provide or they are acting in bad faith which we will cover later.
One issue that arises fairly often with insurance is that they will use any medical condition you previously had as a reason to not compensate future injuries. If you get in a car crash and your leg is injured but you have had past leg issues, your insurance company will try to justify it as a preexisting condition.
The reason that companies do this is because it means they will have to pay you less money. If you are already injured and then get into an accident, they will try and argue that you already had that issue. Getting a medical professional to prove that the injury is new and caused by the accident will be your best defense to get your full moneys worth.
Bad Faith & Insurance Companies
As we briefly touched upon earlier, there can be certain circumstances where your insurance company does not want to pay you what you are owed. Many times, they will fabricate a hard to argue with reason, but sometimes they are acting out of bad faith. When insurance companies act in bad faith, they are showing that they are not meeting the needs of their client and need to be addressed.
An insurance company acting in bad faith is not properly using your money and need to be addressed. If you are injured or in need of some sort of coverage that you believe you are entitled to, then your insurance company needs to be looked into. The best way to go about getting your money is with one of our auto accident attorneys.
What they can do is look into your policy, the accident, and your insurance company to see if the company is acting in bad faith. If they are in fact acting in bad faith, then you could potentially be entitled to a decent amount of compensation if your case wins. Understanding your insurance policy before getting behind the wheel will help you understand and be aware of what exactly it is you are getting covered with your insurance provider.
How Insurance Companies Operate
To understand the basics of insurance, you need to understand how your money is used and how the companies operate to understand why they don’t just give away money. It’s an interesting process as you can see the way that funds are used to help out those who need it most.
• Risk Transfer
When a company takes on a new client, they are essentially helping themselves improve the coverage they can offer to others. When money is added to an insurance company, it becomes part of a large sum of money that is used to help out anyone who uses the company when they have an accident or need insurance coverage.
The reason this is so beneficial is because the more people who join, the better the coverage will be for everyone. The transfer of risk that occurs as a result of everyone putting in money means that there are times when your money is being used to help someone else out. This also works the other way around where other people’s money is used when you are in need of assistance.
When you look at it as a collective sum of money, it makes more sense why insurance companies are hesitant to just give away money for a claim. You would pay a lot more for an accident if you didn’t have insurance because the one-time payment is much more than you would pay normally as the company sees the chance of an accident being very low.
Many people hear the phrase insurance premium, but not everyone knows what they are. Essentially, your insurance premium is the amount you are paying your insurance company for a certain level of desired coverage. The reason the are known as a premium is because you are paying your insurance fees before you actually need them instead of paying one large fee if an accident occurs.
Depending on what kind of coverage you have, your insurance premium could differ greatly. For very basic coverage, you won’t pay very much. However, the more basic your coverage, the less money you will get when you need it most. It may seem to make sense not to pay a high premium if you don’t do risky things, but you never know wat could happen or when you will need coverage.
• How your money works
As mentioned earlier, your money is pooled together with many other peoples to create general pool for everyone under one company. If something comes up and causes you to need medical treatment or other life needs, money from any number of people will come out and be used to help you.
When you pay a higher premium yourself, you are then given access to more money when you need it most. A person who has the same accident as someone else will get a much larger amount of money if they are paying a higher insurance premium. The more you think you will need to use insurance in the future, the higher the premium you should pay. If Multiple Insurance Companies are involved If you get in an accident and it was not your fault, you are most likely going to want to get the insurance of the other driver.
When you do this, there is a chance that their insurance will cover the accident instead of yours. When this happens, their insurance will make out a claim that is either the same as or better than your insurance provider.
When this happens, you choose the one that best suits your needs and accurately covers your losses. Your insurance company should not increase your own premium if you get in an accident, so compare the rates for the best results. One thing that could happen is that the premium paid by the other person who caused the accident will likely increase if you go through their insurance.
Main Causes of Car Accidents
• Distracted driving
As more and more people are using smartphones than ever before, it is causing a serious amount of issues for drivers. Distracted driving has quickly become one of the most common forms of accidents in America today and numbers don’t seem to be getting any lower. Because of the new levels of distracted driving, younger people and adults alike are illegally using their phones when driving.
When looking to accidents, it can be easy enough for police to now understand if people are using their phones moments before an accident. Many states have made it illegal to use your phone when driving, but people are constantly breaking the law and putting multiple drivers at risk. To avoid accidents in the future, make sure your phones is put away and on silent anytime you are driving.
• Breaking speed limits
Breaking speed limits is one of the easiest ways to get a ticket and put others at risk when driving. When you break the speed limits, you are essentially sending the message that you would rather risk your life and the lives of others to get somewhere just a little bit faster. Speeding is not only dangerous, but the faster speeds mean that the accidents that occur as a result are going to be much worse.
When on the highway, many people will ignore the speed limits and will just go as fast as they feel. Why this is so dangerous is because when you go faster in a car, your reaction time cannot keep up with the speed of the car. Additionally, going faster also means that you car only has to make a small nudge to go flying and hit something or someone.
• Drunk Driving
Drunk driving has been time and time again one of the most common and devastating causes of accidents in America. Many people get behind the wheel of vehicles while intoxicated and seriously increase the risk of hurting themselves and often others. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs impairs almost every reflex and makes you a serious threat on the road.
The situation gets even worse when you have passengers who are putting their lives in the hands of someone who should not be driving. With so many options for ride sharing and getting a ride home that doesn’t involve you driving a car, there is no excuses to drive or let others drive under the influence.
• Bad Weather
Bad weather is a little different from some of the other accidents, but it still needs to be addressed. While you obviously can’ control the weather or any sudden changes, you can be prepared and adaptable to the road conditions. Checking the forecast and knowing what the weather will be like before you go out will be a great way to prevent going out in really bad weather.
Conditions like ice, hail, fog, and even rain greatly increase the risk of a crash. If you are driving and see conditions that are worsening, it is always ok to pull over and put on your hazard lights until the conditions get better. Being prepared to deal with and have a plan will help you take on whatever mother nature decides to throw at you.
Car Accident Statistics
To help you understand just how serious car accidents are, we can look at just a few of the startling numbers that demonstrate the reality of car accidents and how dangerous they can be.
- In 2017, over 128,000 car accidents were reported in Pennsylvania alone with over 80,000 injuries
- Every day, three people die in a car accident in Pennsylvania
- On average, 17 people were involved in alcohol related crashes every day in 2018
- Most accidents are caused at night on the weekends
Car Safety and Accident Prevention
When driving a car, it is often that being prepared for an accident is the best way to prevent them. To be prepared for anything, you want to make sure you and your car are ready for anything. To help with that, lets look at a few tips that will help you prevent accidents and keep your car working smoothly.
• Driving Awareness
The best way to stay safe when driving at any time is to always be aware of your surroundings. While you can’t control other drivers and how they drive, you can control how you react. Keeping your phone away and being aware of other drivers will allow you to be ready to adjust at a moments notice to prevent a potential accident.
• Get your car serviced regularly
No matter how good of a driver you are, there is very little you can do when your car has an issue. Whether your brakes are bad, tires under-inflated or you simple have a light that has gone out, keeping your car serviced regularly will prevent any accidents form happening that could have been easily prevented.
Even if things seem fine, taking the time to get your car looked at will give you a better chance at preventing accidents and helps remove some of the blame if your car has an issue. An up to date service record will look much better in an accident appeal than one that hasn’t been updated in years.
• Know the law
While things like speeding and drunk driving are easily understood as illegal, there are many other laws that often go forgotten. For example, you can be pulled over on the spot if you are seen texting and driving. Knowing the laws and general rules of the road will help you better understand how to drive safer and with more effectiveness than if you were to get your license and never look back.
Being an informed driver helps make you a safe driver when on the road. Knowing the ins and outs of Pennsylvania law will keep you from facing fines and tickets when done correctly.
• Carry essential supplies
While this tip may not prevent accidents, it will definitely help you if one occurs. Having something as simple as a basic first-aid kit could literally save your life if you get in an accident. Having some gauze and basic cleaning supplies could keep you from bleeding and hold you over until help arrives.
You can also carry things like water and blankets so that you can be ok if you are forced to pull over during a storm.
Why Hiring a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer is the best idea after a crash.
With such a wide variety of situations that can happen as a result from an accident, having someone on your side who knows how to help can make life much easier. Whether you just got in an accident or are looking to resolve some issues with your insurance, our attorneys based in Philadelphia can get you back on your feet.
Hiring a car accident lawyer to help you with your case can be the difference between mountains of paperwork and a case that ends in your favor. Reach out to our car accident lawyers today for a free consultation to see how you can save some serious time and money on your car accident claim. We Win or It’s Free®